Cherry, American Black – Total Wood Species Guide

PROS: Beautifully colored. No need for stains. The wood is a dark red-brown to a lighter pink-red color. If you apply an oil based polyurethane it will naturally darken to a most wonderful tone, my absolute favorite. The wood will darken overtime to a bold russet brown. The wood grain is wavy.

CONS: While more dent resistant than birch, it is softer than oak. It can be expensive and usually has to be specially ordered. It is one of the most expensive domestic hardwoods. It must be sanded extra-fine, as sanding lines will show in this fairly flat grained wood. Similar to pine and birch, American black cherry’s swirly grain pattern makes stains go on blotchy. So use a gel stain if you must darken the wood. The reason why a gel stain works is because it is not penetrating the wood. Bartley’s makes a good stain for American black cherry. It is prone to moderate splitting. It is a soft to medium density hardwood.

TREE FACTS: It is the largest of the native cherry tree family. The trees that are harvested for commercial use are grown in the Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia. It also is grown in eastern Canada. American black cherry is a flowering tree. It is one of the most popular domestic hardwoods for making furniture.